Friday, June 20, 2014

Cookies for a Texas Barbecue

What would a Texas barbecue be without some Texas sheetcake and these great Texas-sized cookies? I placed silver dragees on the stars to give them some bling and added a few hats and boots to the mix.  These cookies were made for the day-after-the-wedding family picnic a friend had recently for her newlywed daughter and son-in-law.  Congrats and YEE HAW to the newlyweds who will be spending the next chapter of their life in Texas!

Take a peek at my garden!

I am in love with my garden.  It's miraculous and meditative and rewarding and beautiful.  Just look at the growth that has happened this Spring already!

Our garden on June 4th...

Our garden on June 19th...

And to think, just 4 years ago, the garden was just another bed of grass and pachysandra!  What a huge difference!  (We also put an addition on the house - those doorways don't exist anymore.)

Tomatoes and sunflowers June 4th...

The same bed on June 19th, only two weeks later!  The sunflowers in the middle of my tomato bed were volunteers leftover from our winter bird feeder.  When they are done blooming, I will have to pull them out so the tomatoes can get more sun.  This is a new staking system for me this year.  I'm hoping it will hold up to heavy tomatoes.

Here's the same general space four years ago...

This photo was taken on May 8th.  Kale, spinach, lettuce and chard.

The kale has been the winner!  Here it is on June 7th and still growing, even after picking every few days. 

My herb garden on May 8th...

 My herb garden today... parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, lemon basil, basil, spearmint, peppermint, sage, chives, oregano, a little stevia, and a lot of lavender!

 I planted several things, many of which I've never grown before.  In this bed (photo below) there are peas, eggplant, green beans, carrots, radishes, lettuce, onions, spinach, chard, kale, and a watermelon!

 Like the sunflowers, there were other volunteers in the garden.  I think I pulled out about a thousand tiny tomato plants.  I let a few of them grow.  I think this is a cucumber plant that seeded itself from the compost pile.  I'll have certain identification when it blooms and fruits.  Maybe it will be a surprise!

We also have several flowers in this compact space to make everything beautiful.


Bee balm... the bees and hummingbirds love these...

and lilies are blooming right now.

 We bought two fig to us this year...

...and still have the old standbys...rhubarb (below) and an ever-growing raspberry patch on the other side of the garage.

Against the railing down below the garden is asparagus, corn, a few tomatoes, rhubarb and lilies and figs.

Is it any wonder that summer is my favorite season?!  Do you have any favorites growing in your garden this year??

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Healthy Colorful Coleslaw

With the arrival of summer and the season of barbecue, I thought I would share my favorite recipe for healthy colorful coleslaw.   Serve alongside burgers or pulled pork.  Happy Summer!

adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking
Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup mayonnaise (homemade or storebought mayo made with avocado oil or olive oil is ideal)
1 Tablespoon raw honey
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
4 cups shredded green and/or red cabbage
2 tablespoons sweet or red onion, grated (add more or less to taste- I often omit the onions altogether)
2 carrots, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, honey, cider vinegar, and celery seed.

In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, onion, and carrot.  Add the dressing, salt and pepper to taste and toss well.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Twins! Baby Face Cookies

These are super cute cookies for a baby shower.  The mother-to-be was expecting twin boys and the guests were all couples.  Each couple went home with two cookies packaged in a cellophane bag together and tied with blue ribbon!  So adorable!  


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